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2018 Dodge Challenger Review

The 2018 Dodge Challenger earns a high ranking in the sports car class because of its supremely powerful engine options, excellent predicted reliability rating, and abundance of space. However, its cabin materials and handling are less impressive.

Pros & Cons

  • Gobs of power
  • Spacious rear seats and large trunk
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Less agile than rivals
  • Lower-rent interior than competitors

New for 2018

  • SRT Demon and SRT Hellcat Widebody joined lineup
  • Larger base touch screen became standard
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.1
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Dodge Challenger Overview

Is the 2018 Dodge Challenger a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2018 Dodge Challenger is a very good used sports car. It’s one of the only sports cars that offers a combination of family-friendly practicality and strapping power.

The 2018 Challenger has many high points:

  • Formidable available V8 engines
  • Very smooth ride
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Uncomplicated infotainment system
  • Extraordinarily roomy interior with adult-friendly back seats
  • Unsurpassed trunk space in the class

It also has some drawbacks:

  • Below-average safety scores
  • Weaker base engine than rivals
  • Emergency brake too close to clutch pedal in models with manual transmission
  • Cumbersome handling compared to smaller, nimbler rivals
  • Cabin has drab styling and downmarket materials
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Dodge Challenger review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 69 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Dodge Challenger?

Based on listings for the 2018 Dodge Challenger on our site, the average price is $26,700, which is about average for the class. Prices range from $20,000 to $45,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Dodge Challenger Cost to Own?

The 2018 Challenger’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $32,470, or $6,494 per year. That’s a bit above average for the class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Challenger?

The biggest changes to the 2019 Dodge Challenger (which starts at $27,845) were the introduction of the SRT Hellcat Redeye trim, the addition of available all-wheel drive to the base trim, and the discontinuation of the SRT Demon trim. There was also some reshuffling of performance upgrades and features across trim levels. Unless you're shopping for the Redeye or want AWD on a lower trim, stick with a used 2018 Challenger to save some money.

Read about the new Dodge Challenger »

The 2018 Dodge Challenger is part of a generation that began with the 2008 model year and includes the 2019 model. Dodge added notable technology features for 2017, including an updated Uconnect infotainment system with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. These features became standard for 2018. The high-performance Challenger SRT Demon trim was only available for 2018.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Challenger »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Dodge Challenger?

The 2018 Dodge Challenger has an excellent predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Challenger reliability »

2018 Dodge Challenger Recalls

At the time of writing, there are four recalls for the 2018 Dodge Challenger:

  • Cruise control may fail to deactivate (two recalls related to this)
  • Voltage regulator may fail and cause the car to stall
  • Incorrect transmission park rods may be installed in some models

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Dodge Challenger safety recalls »

Which Used Dodge Challenger Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Dodge Challenger comes in 16 trims: SXT, SXT Plus, GT, R/T, T/A, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus, T/A Plus, R/T Plus Shaker, R/T Scat Pack, T/A 392, 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker, SRT 392, SRT Hellcat, SRT Hellcat Widebody, and SRT Demon. This can be an overwhelming number of trims to consider, but these can be broken down into five "umbrella trims." Performance features and engines are the main differences within these five trims.

The base Challenger SXT has a solid number of standard features for a sports car, including the intuitive Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. For most shoppers, upgrading to higher trims is about power, with the top R/T trims’ engines more than doubling the horsepower output of the lowest trims’ power plants.

  • Dodge Challenger SXT: The base Dodge Challenger SXT and the Challenger SXT Plus are both powered by a 305-horsepower V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated voice command, and two USB ports.
  • Dodge Challenger GT: The Dodge Challenger GT comes with the same engine as the SXT trims. It’s the only Challenger trim to come with – or even offer – all-wheel drive. The Challenger GT also comes with Nappa leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, a six-speaker Alpine audio system, and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen.
  • Dodge Challenger R/T: Most Challenger R/T trims upgrade the engine to a 375-horsepower Hemi V8. The R/T Scat Pack comes with a 485-horsepower V8. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available. Some R/T trims come with a sport suspension, but it otherwise has a standard and available features list that closely resembles the GT’s.
  • Dodge Challenger T/A: The Challenger T/A 392 comes with a 485-horsepower V8 engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available. T/A trims have nearly the same standard and available features as R/T trims with their major differences being interior and exterior styling.
  • Dodge Challenger SRT: SRT-designated Challengers offer the most power in the lineup. The SRT 392 comes with the 485-horsepower V8 engine. The SRT Hellcat has a 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi V8, and the ultra-powerful SRT Demon’s supercharged Hemi V8 puts out 840 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available. SRT trims come with Brembo brakes, a high-performance suspension, a Bilstein adaptive damping system, a Harman Kardon audio system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and navigation. A few other performance-related upgrades are available in SRT trims.

See 2018 Dodge Challenger trims and specs »

What Does Dodge's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Dodge offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Dodge extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Dodge warranty page carefully.

Dodge has one of the worst CPO warranties among affordable carmakers, according to our analysis. Kia, Hyundai, Chevy, Ford, Honda, and Mazda are all better.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Challenger?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Challenger the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front and side crash tests. It earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the roof strength test, and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver’s-side small overlap test. Properly equipped Challengers received a Basic rating for front crash prevention.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the 2018 Challenger earned a five-star overall safety rating out of five. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in rollover and frontal crash evaluations.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • forward collision warning
  • rear parking sensors

See Challenger safety scores »

2018 Dodge Challenger Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Dodge Challenger or 2018 Dodge Charger?

The 2018 Dodge Charger is proof that cramped sports cars aren’t your only option for monstrous engine power. This large car is available with most of the same available engines as the Challenger, including the Hellcat’s 707-horsepower V8. Both cars feature roomy seats, about the same amount of trunk space, and a similar standard features list. However, the Charger has even more back-seat space. Unfortunately, both cars also feature relatively cheap cabin materials for their respective classes. In the end, the Challenger gains the upper hand with its near-perfect predicted reliability rating compared to the Charger’s poor rating.

Which Is Better: 2018 Dodge Challenger or 2018 Ford Mustang?

The 2018 Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger are both good sports cars, but the Dodge comes out ahead by a hair. While the Ford has sharp handling, a handsome interior, and a lineup of strong engines, so do most other cars in the class. It’s only major advantage over class rivals is its above-average trunk capacity, which is still a few cubic feet shy of the Challenger’s. Additionally, the Mustang’s back seats are basically unusable for adults. When it comes to performance, the Mustang is the easier vehicle to maneuver around city streets. The base models for both cars have similar horsepower, but the Mustang's engines don’t come close to matching the power output of the Challenger’s most potent V8s. Furthermore, the Dodge has a better predicted reliability rating than the Ford.

Compare the Challenger, Charger, and Mustang »

2018 Challenger Performance

How Does the 2018 Dodge Challenger Drive?

The 2018 Dodge Challenger is available with one of five engines. The base V6 produces a good amount of power, but rival sports cars have stronger base engines. Fortunately, there are four more engine options available, with the most powerful being a supercharged V8 that delivers track-ready acceleration. The standard eight-speed automatic transmission is slick and responsive. The available six-speed manual shifts easily, but the emergency brake pedal can get in the way of your left foot when using the clutch pedal.

The Challenger is a large, bulky sports car, and it drives like one. This Dodge has a smooth and comfortable ride, but most rivals are smaller and more athletic, making them easier to maneuver around corners. Still, its steering is sharp, and the brakes are strong. It's worth noting that the Challenger GT, which is the only trim with all-wheel drive, offers excellent road grip and sharper handling.

  • Base engine: 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 375 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque
    • 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque
    • 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 with 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque
    • 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive.
  • Transmission: standard eight-speed automatic; available six-speed manual
Does the 2018 Dodge Challenger Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Dodge Challenger gets typical fuel economy estimates with the base V6 engine. However, the numbers decline substantially as horsepower ratings increase with the available V8s.

  • 3.6-liter, RWD: 19/30 mpg city/highway
  • 3.6-liter, AWD: 18/27 mpg
  • 5.7-liter Hemi V8: 16/25 mpg
  • 6.4-liter Hemi V8: 15/25 mpg
  • 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8: 13/22 mpg

Read more about Challenger performance »

2018 Challenger Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Challenger Seat?

The standard 2018 Dodge Challenger seats five people in two rows. The high-performance Challenger SRT Demon seats between one and five people, depending on the configuration. The Challenger’s seats are surprisingly roomy for a sports car. It even has enough space for adults to sit comfortably in the rear for a short period, a rare commodity for this class. The cabin’s overall design is fairly bland and features downmarket material compared to rivals.

Standard seating features:

  • Houndstooth cloth upholstery
  • six-way power-adjustable driver's seat

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery (including premium options for Nappa or Laguna leather)
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • sport seats with added bolstering
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Dodge Challenger?

The 2018 Challenger has three complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the outboard LATCH connectors the second-highest rating of Acceptable, while the middle seat received the worst rating of Poor.

2018 Dodge Challenger Features

Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment system earns consistent praise for being one of the most responsive and intuitive on the market. The standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration allow you to easily mirror your smartphone to the car's touch screen for quick access to some commonly used apps.

  • Standard infotainment features: dual-zone automatic climate control, the Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated voice command, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: satellite radio, a six- or nine-speaker Alpine audio system, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and navigation
  • Other available features: a sunroof

See 2018 Dodge Challenger specs »

Read more about Challenger interior »

2018 Dodge Challenger Dimensions

Dodge Challenger Cargo Space

The Challenger’s trunk is sizeable for a sports car. It’s 16.2-cubic-foot capacity is more than you would get with most large sedans. Still, the trunk’s high liftover height can make it difficult to hoist heavy items into it.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Dodge Challenger Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 5 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,865 to 4,498 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Dodge Challenger Built?

Dodge built the Challenger in Canada.

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